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Archive for July, 2019

Last but not least, courage — moral courage, the courage of one’s convictions, the courage to see things through.  The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave.  It’s the age-old struggle — the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other.
  —   General Douglas MacArthur
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On This Day In:
2018 Hoping For A Blue Wave In November
2017 Garden Dreaming
2016 Well, Maybe Not “No” Talent
2015 An Appetite For Life
A Trip To The Library
Great Expectations
2014 Pass The Soul
2013 Zapping Music And Art
2012 Not Quite Fantastic
That Kid Is Back
2011 Wolves At The Door
2010 I’m Feeling Patriotic… (Well, more than usual, anyway.)
Beating the Heat…

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Z For Zachariah (2015)  —  movie review
Today’s review is for the post-apocalyptic survival movie “Z For Zachariah” starring Margot Robbie as Ann Burden (the farm girl), Chiwetel Ejiofor as John Loomis (the scientist), and Chris Pine as Caleb (the country boy).
The basic setup is “something” happens to the world and it becomes a radioactive waste.  It’s implied this is due to an exchange of nuclear weapons, but I don’t remember it being precisely stated.  Anyway, the movie starts with the farm girl being all alone.  It appears she has been alone for at least a full year, as she relates surviving a winter.  A scientist enters the frame.  He has managed to survive because he has a suit, drugs and a small, portable shelter.  However, he falls ill from exposure to radioactive water. The girl nurses him back to health.
Despite her encouragement, he resists becoming intimate with her.  He appears to have memories of happier times with an African-American female, but her status is unknown.  Eventually, loneliness overcomes hesitancy and the two become intimate.
After some period of time, another man (Pine / the country boy) appears on the scene.  There is no real explanation for his survival because he lacks the suit, drugs or shelter of the scientist, but whatever…
Slowly, the three begin trusting each other and working together.  Ejiofor / the scientist continues to have bad feelings about intimacy with a white female and “gives” permission to the country boy to become intimate with Robbie / the farm girl.  One night, the scientist gets drunk and passes out.  The farm girl and the country boy engage in sex.
The following day, the “social” dynamic has changed and conflict seems inevitable.  The two men continue working together.  One day, the country boy places himself in a hazardous situation.  The scientist saves the country boy, but at the very instant of safety, the two men lock eyes.
The scene shifts back to the farmhouse and the scientist is again alone with the farm girl.  He tells her the country boy has decided to move on.  The movie ends with no resolution of whether or not the country boy was killed and / or if two remaining survivors reestablish their relationship.
Final recommendation: moderate to strong.  I like all three actors in most of the other roles I’ve seen them in – Pine less than Robbie or Ejiofor, and this film is no exception.  The movie is interesting as a character study of the three “types”, but it didn’t really seem to have a direction which engaged me or made me want to root for any of the actors.  As such, despite it being beautifully filmed and reasonably well acted, I was left with feeling piqued but not fully entertained.  Hence, my recommendation is more “moderate” than “strong”.
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On This Day In:
2018 Sounds Like #45’s White House
2017 Have We Started Winning Yet?
2016 Still Springy
2015 Well Concealed
2014 The History Of Warriors
2013 A Cult Of Ignorance
2012 Counting Valor
Understanding Faith
2011 I Can Hear You Now
2010 Inception

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Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.
  —  Daniel J. Boorstin
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On This Day In:
2018 Sounds Like #45’s White House
2017 Have We Started Winning Yet?
2016 Still Springy
2015 Well Concealed
2014 The History Of Warriors
2013 A Cult Of Ignorance
2012 Counting Valor
Understanding Faith
2011 I Can Hear You Now
2010 Inception

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And how naive an adult could be.  The birther imaginings about Barack Obama?  Just a silly conspiracy theory, latched onto by an attention seeker who has a peculiar penchant for them.  The “Mexican” Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel incident?  Asinine, inappropriate, a terrible attack on the judiciary by an egocentric man who imagined that the judge didn’t like him.  The white supremacists’ march in Charlottesville?  The president’s comments were absolutely idiotic, but he couldn’t possibly have been referring to those self-described Nazis as “good people”; in his sloppy, inarticulate way, he was referring to both sides of the debate over Civil War statues, and venting his anger about being criticized.
No, I thought, President Trump was boorish, dim-witted, inarticulate, incoherent, narcissistic and insensitive.  He’s a pathetic bully but an equal-opportunity bully — in his uniquely crass and crude manner, he’ll attack anyone he thinks is critical of him.  No matter how much I found him ultimately unfit, I still gave him the benefit of the doubt about being a racist.  No matter how much I came to dislike him, I didn’t want to think that the president of the United States is a racial bigot.
But Sunday left no doubt. Naivete, resentment and outright racism, roiled in a toxic mix, have given us a racist president.  Trump could have used vile slurs, including the vilest of them all, and the intent and effect would have been no less clear.  Telling four non-white members of Congress — American citizens all, three natural-born — to “go back” to the “countries” they “originally came from”?  That’s racist to the core.  It doesn’t matter what these representatives are for or against — and there’s plenty to criticize them for — it’s beyond the bounds of human decency.  For anyone, not least a president.
What’s just as bad, though, is the virtual silence from Republican leaders and officeholders.  They’re silent not because they agree with Trump.  Surely they know better.  They’re silent because, knowing that he’s incorrigible, they have inured themselves to his wild statements; because, knowing that he’s a fool, they don’t really take his words seriously and pretend that others shouldn’t, either; because, knowing how damaging Trump’s words are, the Republicans don’t want to give succor to their political enemies; because, knowing how vindictive, stubborn and obtusely self-destructive Trump is, they fear his wrath.
But none of that is good enough.  Trump is not some random, embittered person in a parking lot — he’s the president of the United States.  By virtue of his office, he speaks for the country.  What’s at stake now is more important than judges or tax cuts or regulations or any policy issue of the day.  What’s at stake are the nation’s ideals, its very soul.
  —    George T. Conway III
Excerpt from his opinion / editorial: “Trump is a racist president
Appearing in The Washington Post, dtd: 15 July 2019
The full text of the editorial can be read at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-conway-trump-is-a-racist-president/2019/07/15/b13c0bd4-a740-11e9-9214-246e594de5d5_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2dd85c1c2cbd
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On This Day In:
2018 But What Are You DOING About November?
Or His Elected Position
2017 Some Good
2016 Edges
Sums
2015 I Hope Not
2014 Study The Means Of Expressing Yourself
2013 That Stubborn Thing
2012 Like Mike
2011 Flawless Or Candid
2010 Browning…

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In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knownness often proves to be the unsung hero.
   —   Daniel J. Boorstin
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On This Day In:
2018 But What Are You DOING About November?
Or His Elected Position
2017 Some Good
2016 Edges
Sums
2015 I Hope Not
2014 Study The Means Of Expressing Yourself
2013 That Stubborn Thing
2012 Like Mike
2011 Flawless Or Candid
2010 Browning…

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Below you will find the U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 489 condemning #45 for his racist remarks (on Twitter and in public speech)…   The Resolution appears as 1) individual images (click on them to enlarge them in your image viewer), 2) a link to the full PDF file (click on it to read the PDF in your viewer), and, finally, 3) the text of the Resolution…
Click on the following link to read the full pdf file in your reader: BILLS-116hres489ih

116TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION H. RES. 489

Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. MALINOWSKI submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on
RESOLUTION
Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.
Whereas the Founders conceived America as a haven of refuge for people fleeing from religious and political persecution, and Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison all emphasized that the Nation gained as it attracted new people in search of freedom and livelihood for their families;
Whereas the Declaration of Independence defined America as a covenant based on equality, the unalienable Rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and government by the consent of the people;
Whereas Benjamin Franklin said at the Constitutional convention, ‘‘When foreigners after looking about for some other Country in which they can obtain more happiness, give a preference to ours, it is a proof of attachment which ought to excite our confidence and affection’’;
Whereas President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, ‘‘Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists’’;
Whereas immigration of people from all over the Earth has defined every stage of American history and propelled our social, economic, political, scientific, cultural, artistic and technological progress as a people, and all Americans, except for the descendants of Native people and enslaved African-Americans, are immigrants or descendants of immigrants;
Whereas the commitment to immigration and asylum has been not a partisan cause but a powerful national value that has infused the work of many Presidents;
Whereas American patriotism is defined not by race or ethnicity but by devotion to the Constitutional ideals of equality, liberty, inclusion, and democracy and by service to our communities and struggle for the common good;
Whereas President John F. Kennedy, whose family came to the United States from Ireland, stated in his 1958 book ‘‘A Nation of Immigrants’’ that ‘‘The contribution of immigrants can be seen in every aspect of our national life.  We see it in religion, in politics, in business, in the arts, in education, even in athletics and entertainment.  There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immigrant background.  Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.’’;
Whereas President Ronald Reagan in his last speech as President conveyed ‘‘An observation about a country which I love’’;
Whereas as President Reagan observed, the torch of Lady Liberty symbolizes our freedom and represents our heritage, the compact with our parents, our grandparents, and our ancestors, and it is the Statue of Liberty and its values that give us our great and special place in the world;
Whereas other countries may seek to compete with us, but in one vital area, as ‘‘a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws the people of the world, no country on Earth comes close’’;
Whereas it is the great life force of ‘‘each generation of new Americans that guarantees that America’s triumph shall continue unsurpassed’’ through the 21st century and beyond and is part of the ‘‘magical, intoxicating power of America’’;
Whereas this is ‘‘one of the most important sources of America’s greatness: we lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people — our strength — from every country and every corner of the world, and by doing so we continuously renew and enrich our nation’’;
Whereas ‘‘thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge’’, always leading the world to the next frontier;
Whereas this openness is vital to our future as a Nation, and ‘‘if we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost’’;  and
Whereas President Donald Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color:  Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives —
1 (1) believes that immigrants and their descend-
2 ants have made America stronger, and that those
3 who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as
4 American as those whose families have lived in the
5 United States for many generations;
6 (2) is committed to keeping America open to
7 those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from vio-
8 lence and oppression, and those who are willing to
9 work hard to live the American Dream, no matter
10 their race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin; and
11 (3) strongly condemns President Donald
12 Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and
13 increased fear and hatred of new Americans and
14 people of color by saying that our fellow Americans
15 who are immigrants, and those who may look to the
16 President like immigrants, should ‘‘go back’’ to
17 other countries, by referring to immigrants and asy-
18 lum seekers as ‘‘invaders,’’ and by saying that Mem-
19 bers of Congress who are immigrants (or those of
20 our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immi-
21 grants) do not belong in Congress or in the United
22 States of America.
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On This Day In:
2018 Young, Fun And Playing Well
2017 Earning Your Blessings
2016 A Suggestion…
Capable Of Being
2015 Looking For The Needles In The Haystacks
2014 The Definition Of A Gentleman
2013 Thar She Blows (Not)!
2012 Naturally
2011 Been Here, Done That
Remember
2010 Timeless Classics

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Not until just before dawn do people sleep best; not until people get old do they become wise.
   —  Chinese Proverb
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On This Day In:
2018 Young, Fun And Playing Well
2017 Earning Your Blessings
2016 A Suggestion…
Capable Of Being
2015 Looking For The Needles In The Haystacks
2014 The Definition Of A Gentleman
2013 Thar She Blows (Not)!
2012 Naturally
2011 Been Here, Done That
Remember
2010 Timeless Classics

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As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say.  I just watch what they do.
  —   Andrew Carnegie
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On This Day In:
2018 Even #45 Shall Pass To Sand
2017 Shedding Light
In The Neighborhood
2016 The Responsibility Of Freedom
2015 Face It
Birdfight
2014 Honoring Firefighters
2013 And Never Will
2012 The Human Adventure Continues
2011 Almost Never

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Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.
  —   Italian Proverb
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On This Day In:
2018 Hoping For Better Come November
An Honest Binge
2017 Give And Keep
2016 No Change Here
2015 Campbell’s Law
2014 Dignified Values
2013 Unappreciated Skill
2012 Living Courage
2011 What’s Happening To Us?
2010 Toothbrush, Carbon and Monoxide
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

 

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Grab a chance and you won’t be sorry for what might have been.
  —    Arthur Ransome
[Maybe a few regrets…  But try to keep them to a minimum.  —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 In Times Of Crisis
Genes, Desire And Luck
2017 The Voice Of Experience
2016 Who And When
2015 Change Process
2014 What Is Still Possible
2013 Strength Is There
2012 Beyond Reasonable Doubt
2011 Celebrating Values
2010 Is it just me, or is it suddenly dark around here?
Dance!

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Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones.  And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.  God is awake.
  —  Victor Hugo
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On This Day In:
2018 Push The Envelope
2017 Ents
2016 Are You Sure?
2015 Distracted
2014 What It Takes
2013 We Are
2012 Utopian
2011 Seen Any Black Swans Lately?

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Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Willing is not enough; we must do.
  —    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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On This Day In:
2018 One Thing We Do Know
2017 Preservation
2016 Going Back
2015 Just For Today
2014 Reaching For Destiny
2013 Still Just Passing Through
2012 Live Or Die
2011 On Secession
2010 A Rocky Weekend

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That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.
  —    Stan Lee
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On This Day In:
2018 Mathematically Speaking
119 Days And Counting
2017 Both Odd And Exceptional
2016 Private Entrance
Camping Out In Camden
2015 Quality Government
A Handful Of Flics
2014 Just Another Brick From The Wall
2013 Artistic Demands
2012 Foundations
2011 Are We Devouring Yet?

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Whatever you can do or dream, you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.  Begin it now.
  —   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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On This Day In:
2018 Do You See Him At The Border
2017 Keep Moving Forward
2016 That Which You Restore
The Best Of Disinfectants
2015 Thousands
2014 What We Can
2013 Mostly Unsound
2012 Malcontent
2011 What Have You Seen Lately?
Just Perspire!

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Image of a fallen tree branch

And when the bough breaks…

As I was out walking my dog today, I heard what sounded like someone stomping on a 2-liter plastic bottle and then dragging it underfoot.  I looked up and didn’t see anything.  I thought it might be a bottle being tossed down the street by the winds.  As I got a little farther along, I noticed some folks standing outside their homes looking across the street.  The wind had caused a tree branch to snap and fall across the road.  I went back a little later (after retrieving my phone) and took this picture.  The workmen had already cleared the opposite side of the road.  The branches originally fully crossed the street.
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On This Day In:
2018 No Religious Test, Yes Religious Ban
2017 Looking At #DumbDonald
2016 No Great Thing
2015 Happy Memory
Of Two Minds
2014 Sums
2013 Memories & Binging
Admiration Due
2012 Choices Matter
2011 Acceptance Is The Key
2010 Just A Permanent Crease…
Bodily Functions

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